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Assuring Safety in a Power Outage

Recent wildfires have left a number of Oklahomans to be without power for hours and even days. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds those affected by a power outage to be mindful of safe practices to prevent illness and injury.

Food Safety

OSDH recommends the following guidelines for refrigerated and frozen foods to citizens or food establishments which have been without power for more than four hours:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Discard any potentially hazardous foods such as meats, eggs, dairy products and leftovers when the power has been off for more than four hours. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Frozen foods in a freezer can normally be kept up to 48 hours without power. A frozen product that has thawed should not be refrozen—it should be used immediately or thrown away.
  • Throw away food that has come in contact with flood or storm water.
  • Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged.
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with water or soot because they cannot be disinfected.
  • Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
  • Breastfed infants should continue breastfeeding. For formula-fed infants, use ready-to-feed formula if possible. If using ready-to-feed formula is not possible, it is best to use bottled water to prepare powdered or concentrated formula. If bottled water is not available, use boiled water. Use treated water to prepare formula only if you do not have bottled or boiled water.
  • Clean feeding bottles and nipples with bottled, boiled, or treated water before each use.
  • Contact your doctor if you are concerned about medications having spoiled.

Water Safety  

Residents in rural areas may also be without water during a power outage. If the safety of the water is not known, it is recommended to vigorously boil the water for at least one minute to prevent potential waterborne illnesses. Safe water would include store-bought bottled water, or uninterrupted city water. Untreated water should not be used to prepare foods, wash hands or brush teeth.

Home Safety

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages or near windows. Improper use of such devices can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

For more information about weather or wildfire safety, visit www.ready.gov or www.cdc.gov/disasters. Preparedness information also is available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language by visiting the OSDH YouTube channel and selecting the Preparedness playlist.

 

Woodward County Health Department

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In Woodward County, community roots run deep.  At the health department, the same principle applies.  We look forward to having the opportunity to treat our communities, neighbors, and friends.  

Whether it's immunizations for school or helping a family during a difficult time, let us meet your needs and provide those services. 

 

OSDH has released information regarding the Zika Virus here.  


Special Announcements
We do provide immunizations year round, avoid the back to school rush and get your child in early during the summer for necessary immunizations. Contact the health department for more information.

The Woodward County Health Department will be closed the following days in 2017: January 2 (New Year's Day); January 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); February 20 (President's Day); May 29 (Memorial Day); July 4 (Independence Day); September 4 (Labor Day); November 10 (Veteran's Day); November 23-24 (Thanksgiving); and December 25-26 (Christmas). Thank you.

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